Things I Loved/Hated This Week #4


– 5 County Cheese

When I went to afternoon tea at the Grand Floridian Resort at Disney World, I tried a great many things that I had never had before. Clotted cream was one delicious discovery, have you ever tried it? That stuff is marvelous, very rich and decadent. Didn’t think I’d like it since I hate whipped cream so much. Anyway, this is about five county cheese. I had never seen anything like it before. It was a strip of five different cheeses connected together and it was magnificent! Each was a cheddar cheese from a different region of England. I loved it. I was so happy to discover it at the marvelous new HyVee in Des Moines. That place is wonderful, you can find anything. Now that we have Trader Joe’s, Whole Foods, and the world’s largest and most diverse HyVee, I feel quite gastronomically spoiled. Anyway, I bought a wedge and had it for my afternoon snack. Delicious.

– the Internet as a social tool

The majority of my social interactions outside of work take place on the Internet. I think this is very common. Nowadays, we all seem to have friends that live all around the world that we’ve never met. I talk to people in England, France, Canada, and more. On this blog, I have traffic from countries I know very little about and I think it’s marvelous. Via Facebook and Twitter I have gotten to know my actual friends much better. I was just thinking how nice it was–you don’t have to make your friends feel bad by always out dressing them or you can text while you’re naked in the tub. I love living in the future.

– individual pasta recipe

I love homemade pasta, and it’s great fun to make, but child, it takes ages and it makes too much. My go to recipe calls for seven egg yolks–it makes a lot of pasta. I decided to try to make a single serve portion and I was stunned and delighted with my results. I honestly couldn’t have been happier. Plus, you can do almost all the work in the food processor. I’m going to be so fat so very soon!

Here’s the recipe:
In the bowl of a food processor, combine 100 grams of AP flour, a pinch of salt, a teaspoon of olive oil, and an egg. Pulse until large chunks form. Dumb onto counter and knead for a few minutes until it all comes together. Roll out using a pasta machine or a rolling pin. I used a rolling pin and it could not have been simpler. Cut into desired shape and boil until al dente. You could also dry it. It’s wonderful.

– radiators

This is one of my strange loves, like my irrational adoration of bricks. I love bricks. I like brick houses and brick walkways and brick mailbox poles. I like looking at bricks that aren’t even turned into anything–they’re just so beautiful. I’m not crazy. I feel the same way about radiators. I adore them! Even though there are better ways of heating a room, this will always be my favorite. In the two buildings that I have looked at to buy before they were stolen from me, they were both warmed by gorgeous wrought iron radiators from the early 20th century. I want them. When I recently went to Fleet & Farm in Mason City, I came across a very chic radiator that hangs demurely on the wall and heats a room up. When hung up, you can’t even tell that it’s on the wall, it’s so thin. I’m obsessed with it.

– Diana Vreeland

D.V. was one of the most important books I have ever read. No writing has ever inspired me in style or content as that book did. If you haven’t read it, get it now before they’re all gone. There’s a bit of a Diana craze right now (isn’t there always with things I like?) because of the new documentary that just came out about her life. Of course, it isn’t coming to Des Moines any time soon, so I’ll have to see it in London or Paris. Diana and I were destined to be best friends, but sadly we only shared the earth for eleven days. She died eleven days after I was born. Is there a greater tragedy? I don’t think so. I would have delighted in having tea with her in her crazy red apartment. She would have taken me to the Met to show her latest exhibit. She was absolutely mad and that’s why I adore her so much. I first discovered her when I watched the film, To Wong Foo, Thanks for Everything, Julie Newmar. If you haven’t seen this film, you are a fool. See it now, one of my all time favorites. I could go on for days and days and days, but I won’t because I want you to discover her yourself. If you have the chance, and I’m telling you to do it, read some of her “Why Don’t You…” columns from the 1930s. They were absolutely fabulous because she was absolutely crazy! One of my favorites is:

Why don’t you have a room done up in every color green? This will take months, years, to collect, but it will be delightful—a mélange of plants, green glass, green porcelains, and furniture covered in sad greens, gay greens, clear, faded, and poison greens?

And really, why don’t you?


– sweeping is a futile activity

I really hate sweeping. It seems that no matter what I do I keep sweeping and sweeping and sweeping. I’m tired just thinking of it. I recently ripped up the nasty, decades-old carpet in my kitchen (which was great fun for me as I’ve long hated it. Beige and stained and just vile.) and replaced it with gorgeous black and white checkerboard tiles. I’m not kidding when I say it’s freaking stunning. I’m still stunned when I look at it. I feel like my kitchen is in the middle of a modern Versailles. I have to sweep it every day, though, or it looks like crap, but even dirty tiles would look better than the revolting carpet I once had there!

– mysteriously disappearing pasta machine

Who the eff moved my pasta machine? I will find you and I will kill you. I probably moved it in one of my cleaning moods, but I can’t think of why I would have hidden it from myself. I rely on my pasta machine to make wonderfully thin fettuchine for alfredo. There’s nothing better than homemade pasta with alfredo.

– people who don’t respond to good morning

This is my biggest pet peeve of all my many pet peeves. People who don’t respond to my simple pleasantries deserve to be slapped. When I walk by you and fake smile and say, “Good morning,” it won’t kill you to respond. Don’t think I actually care what your response is, I’m not trying to learn anything about you, I don’t care anything about your life, I don’t want to know anything about you–you bore me. I just want to pretend to be a chivalrous gentlemen. Why are you such a bitch? To those of you who do respond, you’re wonderful people.


I understand and appreciate the sentiment behind this irritatingly overused catchphrase, but I’m sick to death of it. All the kids are writing it all over their belongings and whenever they get into trouble they giggle maniacally and shout, “YOLO!” I’m driving myself nuts thinking of it. I’m also offended as a potential Buddhist. I don’t practice any religion, but I’m offended for all my Buddhist friends (which I don’t have, by the way, but someday I could.) They don’t live once, they live hundreds of times. I am a firm believer in reincarnation, so there’s another point of irritation. I’m probably taking this too far. It’s just so dumb.

– buffering advertisements

The Internet used to be such a fun, wild, free place. Now it’s just a big advertisement. I recently tried to watch a commercial on Youtube and had to watch not one, but two commercials for Mitt Romney before the thirty second clip would play. There was never a chance in Hell that I would have voted for that loon, but even if I had considered it, I would have rethought my decision after hearing his creepy voice for hours each day. He’s everywhere, it’s driving me mad. Anyway, once those videos took time to buffer and play themselves, the video I wanted had to buffer and buffer and buffer and finally play. This ordeal should have taken a minute, tops, not a quarter of an hour. Wasn’t even that great of a commercial anyway.

6 responses to “Things I Loved/Hated This Week #4

  1. Love love love Diana Vreeland – her voice in her writing, her presentation of herself, her ideas. Thank you for the “Too Wong Foo…” movie suggestion, very excited to look for it. Also, edubione’s cheese comment made me laugh… miam miam *__* because it looks and sounds like my cat eating her beloved mushy food!

  2. Having recently read D.V. the book twice and seen the movie Diana Vreeland: The Eye Has to Travel – twice, including the bonus interviews, which are fantastic… I am on the lookout for everything Vreeland-related. In her book she mentions Gigi, so that’s now a must-see. Also, I’m hoping to soon see Funny Face, which has scenes purportedly patterned after the world of fashion magazines.

    • “Gigi” is an excellent film. “Qui est vous, Polly Maggoo” also has a character based on Diana. If you can find a copy of “Zoo in Budapest,” that is a charming picture and supposedly one of her favorites. Anyway, it’s always a pleasure to meet another fan of Ms. Vreeland!

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